NASA Releases Stunning First Images From Repaired Hubble Telescope

NASA Releases Stunning First Images From Repaired Hubble Telescope

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope had a rough start to the summer. After more than 30 years of observing the cosmos, the telescope suffered a major computer failure in June. NASA worked on the issue over the next few weeks, arriving at a solution last week. Now, the fully restored Hubble has started doing science again. NASA has now released the first new images since the failure.

The issues began on June 13th when the iconic spacecraft dropped into safe mode after the payload computer stopped communicating with the main computer. This system is supposed to manage all the scientific instruments, so Hubble could not continue operating without a fix. Initially, the team believed a simple memory module swap would do the trick. Hubble’s payload computer has three spares for just such an eventuality. However, the issue proved to be more difficult to track down.

Last week, NASA finally determined it was the Power Control Unit (PCU), which lives on the Command & Data Handling (SI C&DH) unit along with the payload computer. It was an all-hands-on-deck scenario as retired Hubble engineers came back to help devise a fix. NASA was able to successfully get Hubble operational again late last week thanks to these efforts. Luckily, the SI C&DH is not the one that Hubble launched with in 1990. NASA encountered a similar failure of the original SI C&DH in 2008 and had to switch to the backup hardware. That module was replaced in 2009 during Hubble’s last servicing mission.

NASA Releases Stunning First Images From Repaired Hubble Telescope

Until the James Webb Space Telescope launches, Hubble is the only general-purpose space observatory we have. So, scientists wasted no time getting back to work. NASA released some of the first new Hubble images (above) to show everything is working normally once again. These images come from a program led by Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington.

On the left is ARP-MADORE2115-273, a rare example of two galaxies in the process of merging. On the right is ARP-MADORE0002-503, a single galaxy with an unusual structure. It’s a spiral galaxy, but it’s got three arms. Most other spirals (like the Milky Way) have an even number of arms. Since these images have only just been captured, there are no color versions available at this time. It’s amazing to see this mission still producing amazing science after three decades. At this rate, it’s looking like Hubble will share the sky with Webb, at least for a while.

Continue reading

NASA: Asteroid Could Still Hit Earth in 2068
NASA: Asteroid Could Still Hit Earth in 2068

This skyscraper-sized asteroid might still hit Earth in 2068, according to a new analysis from the University of Hawaii and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

NASA Created a Collection of Spooky Space Sounds for Halloween
NASA Created a Collection of Spooky Space Sounds for Halloween

NASA's latest data release turns signals from beyond Earth into spooky sounds that are sure to send a chill up your spine.

NASA Discovers Vital Organic Molecule on Titan
NASA Discovers Vital Organic Molecule on Titan

In the latest analysis, researchers from NASA have identified an important, highly reactive organic molecule in Titan's atmosphere. Its presence suggests the moon could support chemical processes that we usually associate with life.

How to Build a Face Mask Detector With a Jetson Nano 2GB and AlwaysAI
How to Build a Face Mask Detector With a Jetson Nano 2GB and AlwaysAI

Nvidia continues to make AI at the edge more affordable and easier to deploy. So instead of simply running through the benchmarks to review the new Jetson Nano 2GB, I decided to tackle the DIY project of building my own face mask detector.